Kent approves funding change to human services agencies

The city of Kent provides funding each year to the Kent Food Bank and other human services agencies. - Kent Reporter, file photo
The city of Kent provides funding each year to the Kent Food Bank and other human services agencies.
— image credit: Kent Reporter, file photo

The city of Kent has changed how it dedicates money from the general fund to human services agencies after a large decrease in 2011 required a $95,000 adjustment.

The City Council approved Dec. 11 funding human services based on a per capita rate of $6.96 per city resident rather than 1 percent of the general fund. The city funded 30 programs this year with amounts from $10,000 to $125,000.

"That's really great," said Marvin Eckfeldt, of Kent, who commented at the council meeting about the change. "That means the budget will have $828,000 to give to citizens in Kent who are in need."

In 2011, the city's Human Services Commission asked the council and received a budget adjustment of $95,000 to cover a drop in funds. The commission decided to come up with a new funding tool to avoid a similar deficit in future years.

The per capita funding creates a stable funding source, according to staff reports. Over the years, the city has determined that human services needs tend to increase when the economy trends downward. However, when the economy trends downward, the city’s general fund tends to decrease. Therefore, human services funding tends to be lower in Kent when there is a greater need for human services funding.

The report continued that tying human services funding to the general population will result in a more predictable and stable stream of funding that is not diminished when the economy trends downward and human services needs increase.

Kent established a human services fund in 1988 and established the 1 percent of the city's general fund in 1989.

According to the new ordinance, none of the per capita allocation shall be applied to staffing the city’s human services division. Recommendations for expenditures shall be made by the Human Services Commission for approval by the city council.

The designation of funding to non-profit agencies shall be recommended by the Human Services Commission and city staff for final allocation and approval by the city council as part of the biennial budget process in accordance with the city of Kent Human Services Master Plan.

Human services programs funded by the city of Kent:

Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Volunteer Chore Services, $10,000

Catholic Community Services of Western Washington, Homeless Services Program, $40,000

Center for Career Alternatives Adult Job Placement & Training Program, $10,000

Center for Children & Youth Justice Safe Havens Visitation Center, $11,000

Child Care Resources Child Care Financial Assistance, $26,000

Children's Home Society of Washington Early Head Start in South King and North King, $20,000

Communities in Schools of Kent Mentorship and Service Coordination $35,000

Domestic Abuse Women's Network (DAWN) Domestic Violence Continuum of Services $65,000

Dynamic Family Services Children with Special Needs, $55,000

HealthPoint Dental Program, $25,000

HealthPoint Medical Program, $20,000

Intercommunity Mercy Housing Homeless Case Management, $10,000

Jewish Family Service Refugee & Immigrant Service Centers, $10,000

Kent Food Bank and Emergency Services Kent Food Bank, $70,000

Kent Youth and Family Services Head Start and ECEAP Preschool Programs, $15,000

Kent Youth and Family Services Outreach, $10,000

Kent Youth and Family Services Clinical Services, $80,000

Kent Youth and Family Services Watson Manor Transitional Living Program. $10,000

King County Bar Foundation Community Legal Services (CLS), $10,000

King County Sexual Assault Resource Center Comprehensive Sexual Assault Services, $22,000

Multi-Service Center Housing Continuum, $125,000

Multi-Service Center Emergency Assistance, $30,000

Multi-Service Center MSC General Education Program, $10,000

Pediatric Interim Care Center Inc. Interim Care of Drug-Exposed Infants, $10,000

Seattle-King County Department of Public Health South King County Mobile Medical Program, $15,143

South King Council of Human Services Capacity Building Project, $7,500

Ukrainian Community Center of Washington Russian/Ukrainian Refugee Assistance Project, $10,000

Valley Cities Counseling and Consultation Senior Counseling at Kent Senior Center, $32,000

Washington Women's Employment & Education REACH Plus, $35,000

Total $828,643

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